Youth Futsal gets its chance – UEFA U19 Futsal EURO qualifying draw
January’s preliminary round and March’s main round has been drawn and will decide the seven teams to join Latvia in September’s finals in the UEFA Under 19’s Futsal Euro.
The draw for qualification was on 1st November 2018 for the UEFA Under 19’s Futsal Euro. Youth futsal players are given the chance to compete for European honours at national team level, in the first ever edition of the UEFA European Under-19 Futsal Championship. There will be 34 teams aiming for seven slots to join hosts, Latvia, in next September’s Riga finals.
UEFA Futsal Euro U19 Draw
So, the Futsal Euro Under 19’s competition will be played in Riga, Latvia. The qualifying draw is as follows:
PRELIMINARY ROUND DRAW (21–26 JANUARY)
Group A: Montenegro, Greece, Lithuania (hosts), Andorra
Group B: Sweden, Kosovo, Cyprus, San Marino
Group B hosts are yet to be confirmed. Two group winners progress to main round and join group 2 and group 6.
Once the preliminary games are played, we move onto the main draw, where 28 teams play for 7 slots hoping to join hosts Latvia in the finals from 8 to 14 September 2019 at Arena Riga.
MAIN ROUND DRAW (26–31 MARCH)
Group 1: Kazakhstan, Poland, France, Finland (hosts)
Group 2: Azerbaijan, Slovenia (hosts), Netherlands, Preliminary Group B winner
Group 3: Portugal, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina (hosts), Moldova
Group 4: Ukraine, Romania, Belgium, FYR Macedonia (hosts
Group 5: Spain, Hungary, Georgia (hosts), Turkey
Group 6: Russia (hosts), Czech Republic, Belarus, Preliminary Group A winner
Group 7: Italy, Croatia (hosts), Slovakia, England
Finals (8–14 September)
This is where starts getting real for the final eight. In the finals, two groups of four will be formed, with the top two in each proceeding to the semi-finals, all with the ambition of being crowned Champions for the first edition of the UEFA European Under-19 Futsal Championship.
BIG CHALLENGE AHEAD
Similarly, England Futsal recently faced Croatia at the senior level during the two day international friendlies played at St. Georges Park. England Lost by 4 goals in each of the games, 4-0 and 6-2. Croatian keeper Zoran Primic managed to get on the score sheet from his own area, whilst England were playing fly goalkeeper, attempting to get back into the game.
ENGLAND FUTSAL UNDER 19’S SUCCESS
In contrast, England U19's started their international campaign by travelling to Zeist back in March 2018. They faced Netherlands U19’s Futsal team in two friendlies over two days. The youth set up secured back to back wins of 4-2 and 3-1.
Read more about these games on the FA’s website:
THE SQUAD THAT PLAYED AGAINST NETHERLANDS UNDER 19’S
Most noteworthy is that England’s youth set up have started with such great success. The under 19’s already have a great pool of players, and this is just going to attract more to the game. The existing line up are going to have to continue to prove themselves to secure selection by Under’s Head Coach Pete Vallance for the Euros next year. Here's the line up as we know it:
James Black – Genesis Futsal Club
Kai Bone – Tranmere Futsal Club
Jared Rand – Reading Escolla Futsal Club
Michael Bulmer – York City Futsal Club
Liam Hunt – Southend Futsal Club
Zak Brunt – Sheffield United FC
Ollie Whaley – University of Nottingham Futsal
James Dirkin – Reading Escolla Futsal Club
Raul Radulescu – Reading Escolla Futsal Club
Tom Doar – University of Nottingham Futsal Club
Drew Hodgson – Newcastle Futsal Club
Henrique Do Carmo – Reading Escolla Futsal Club
FUTSAL IS GROWING
Considering all of this, it is fair to say that as Futsal continues to grow, and to demonstrate why it is such an amazing sport, the opportunities are growing across the UK. Opportunities exist from joining academies, clubs and leagues, all the way up to the international setup. Many compare the sport to football, for obvious reasons, but with the right strategy in place, along with sponsors and an audience, Futsal has the chance to really become an established sport on the global stage!
Potenial Futsal sites - funding and bursaries available
To support the growth of the sport, and increased interst, Futsal Arenas are actively seeking developments sites in the UK, where futsal courts can be built. Funding and bursaries are available for the right partner sites, that match our ambitions and goals. If you want to discuss Potential Site then click here for more information.